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Published on March 4th, 2016 | by Jake Richardson

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Sweden Takes Aim At 2045 Carbon Neutrality

March 4th, 2016 by  

Originally published on Sustainnovate.

Sweden Could Be Carbon Neutral By 2045

A parliamentary committee in Sweden has created a proposal outlining how the nation could be carbon neutral by 2045. Mainly, it would achieve this huge goal by eliminating domestic emissions by 85% from 1990 levels. The last 15% could be offset by making investments in international projects which cut carbon emissions.

If this plan sounds overly ambitious, Sweden has already set similar environmental goals. One example is the country’s aim to have no net greenhouse gas emissions by the 2050. Another is to have a vehicle fleet which doesn’t use fossil fuels by 2030.

Sweden has a population of about 9.6 million, so making nationwide changes are easier than for the largest countries in the world, like India and China, but it still is setting an example for the world.

A number of countries, such as Costa Rica, Bhutan, Norway, and the Maldives have pledged to become carbon neutral.

“We actually have all the technology we need to be 100 per cent free of fossil fuels,” saidDeputy prime minister Asa Romson from the Green Party.

“What we do not have is a market for it. We do not have an economy that can do it, so far.”

Over $500 million has already been set aside for projects related to climate change in Sweden this year, including for clean technology.

Already recognized for its sustainability, Sweden appears to be poised to achieve the ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral.

Another thing in Sweden’s favor in reach of its environmental goals related to climate change is its track record as a leader in innovation. One might say the innovation mindset is strong in Sweden, so making technological adaptations might be easier for such countries.

In the case of climate change, transitioning from fossil fuels to clean and renewable sources is a one of the largest changes nations need to make.

Image by Holgar Ellgard (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

 
 
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  • heinbloed

    It is only a suggestion, an agreement by 7 parties, not a legal binding target – yet.

    The reduction should be achieved by min. 85% within the boundaries of Sweden.

    http://www.svd.se/svd-avslojar-nytt-klimatmal–nollutslapp-i-sverige-ar-2045

    Machine translation:

    https://translate.google.ie/translate?sl=sv&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.svd.se%2Fsvd-avslojar-nytt-klimatmal–nollutslapp-i-sverige-ar-2045&edit-text=

    ———————-

    About transport: timber fuel( bio-diesel) is well advanced, there are commercially operating facilities in Scandinavia producing timber-diesel.

  • vensonata

    They have about 500 cars per thousand population quite a bit less than the U.S. So 4.5 million cars. They need to vanish in 14 years. By 2020 they need to turn over into EVs by 10% per year or 450,000 Ev sales per year. That is a lot but not out of the question, it is only slightly more than annual car sales anyway at about 300,000. I wonder what they are going to do with the used ice cars?

    • Ulenspiegel

      Sweden has in Europe one of the best per capita biomass potentials; therefore, I assume that they will substitute oil with synthetic oil from biomass. A 100% replacement of ICEs until 2030 is not possible.

      • vensonata

        That is both interesting and disappointing if correct. Synthetic oil still has engine noise and air quality issues.

        • Ulenspiegel

          I have only data for Germany but assume the Swedish situation is not that different: The average age of cars and trucks is around 8 years, i.e. they are replaced after around 16 years; as no trucks as EV are available and most EVs are hybrids a 100% replacement of fuel with electricty until 2030 is not possible, therefore, we are stuck with the disadvantages of ICEs longer. However, I think that such a program has political impact even outside Sweden.

  • Keanwood

    “Sweden has a population of about 9.6 million, so making nationwide changes are easier than for the largest countries in the world, like India and China, but it still is setting an example for the world.”

    Is it really their small population that makes it easy to make nationwide changes? Or is it that Sweden’s GDP/Capita is $45,183 vs China’s $13,206 or India’s $5,418. And I’m also assuming (but I don’t have any facts) Sweden has a much more equal distribution of wealth than the other two.

    • Ronald Brakels

      All else equal, if Sweden’s population was larger I would expect that to make things easier due to increased economies of scale that would kick in. The one exception is paying to reduce emissions in other countries to compensate for any remaining Swedish emissions as there would be more Swedish money chasing a limited amount of low hanging fruit.

  • JamesWimberley

    No documentary sources given. The documents list and search engine of the Riksdag is here (link) for anybody with much better Swedish than mine.

  • Omega Centauri

    No fossil fueled transport by 2030? Given that cars last 15-20 years, and commercial truck maybe even longer, I don’t see how that is possible. Unless the fine print, says no new vehicles running on fossil fuels will be sold by 2030, which is quite a different thing altogether.

    • joshua

      “to have a vehicle fleet”

      Probably just refering to government vehicles.

      • Ronald Brakels

        To remove and sequester the CO2 released from burning a liter of petrol (gasoline) may cost less than 7 US cents. And if they instead pay for lower cost CO2 reductions in other countries then carbon neutral petrol could be even cheaper. Seven cents a liter is not such a big deal in many developed nations.

        And 14 years is still plenty of time to replace many internal combustion engine cars. Less than a third of their vehicles are 10 or more years old. And that should also be enough time for automated electric taxis to replace many private cars.

    • JamesWimberley

      I thought trucks were shorter-lived than cars, because of the much higher mileages.
      They may be counting on biofuels.

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